Osvaldo Valentine, a 40-year-old Baltimore police officer, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Thursday for taking kickbacks from an auto repair company, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office announced.

Sixteen Baltimore officers were convicted in the scheme, which involved referring car crash customers to Majestic Auto Repair in Rosedale in exchange for cash payments, falsifying police reports and increasing damage to vehicles to boost the insurance payouts.

Valentine is the ninth officer sentenced to federal prison thus far. His term is on the high end of the range, which spans eight to 30 months. According to prosecutors, Valentine accepted payments of $250 to $300 from the owners of Majestic for every vehicle he referred, and he recruited other officers into the illegal operation. He was ordered to pay $18,000 in restitution to the Baltimore Police Department.

tricia.bishop@baltsun.com

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